Veteran crime reporter Connelly's (The Black Ice, 1993) third novel deftly blends cop thriller and courtroom drama in a darkly gripping tale structured around a set of gruesome serial killings. Gritty LA homicide detective Harry Bosch acted recklessly when he killed a man who may or may not have been the serial killer known as the "Dollmaker" for the makeup he applied to his victim's faces after he raped and murdered them. Four years and a big demotion later Bosch stands trial for the murder of Norman Church -- whose widow, with the help of her tough-cookie lawyer, asserts that Church was not the Dollmaker. Bosch's confidence that he got the right guy crumbles as the prosecution provides an airtight alibi for one of the murders and as another victim (a buxom blond porn star slayed after Church's death) is uncovered from a concrete grave. Our clever, instinctive hero quickly discovers that the murders were committed by two men -- one of them a copycat still on the prowl. To vindicate himself and save future victims, Bosch stands trial by day and hunts for the killer at night. A sordid premise becomes thornier and more chilling as Bosch realizes that the copycat is a colleague -- an insider in the Dollmaker case. Suspects include Bosch's turncoat ex-partner, a shifty vice-squad cop, a journalist who reported on the Dollmaker, and an eccentric professor of psychosexual behavior. The courses of the trial and the investigation collide in an intricately plotted and turbo-charged conclusion safely arrived at by Bosch's cunning, foresight, and trademark intuition. Cliches persist in characters like the brassy woman lawyer, the foolish bureaucrat, and the hero with a tarnished heart of gold. But the charming, if retro, writing ("The courtroom seemed as silent as a dead man's heart") and the lurid thrills make this gem as lovable as any tale of serial murder can be.